Profile For Liahos I.

Liahos I.'s Info

  • Location:
    Birmingham, AL

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:
    Liahos I. On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    5 months, 2 weeks ago

Liahos I.'s Bio

Retired ... health science background ... starting new occupation ... eager to learn ... married ... three children ... three grandchildren ...

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Posted:  1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Mentoring done ... going solo ... nervous as hell

Mentoring done ... going solo next week ... scared and nervous

The five week training period (mostly team driving) was grueling. My mentor being an owner operator didn't believe in even wasting a minute. The wheels had to keep turning, time is money. Any way, it's over and I've learned a lot of things, seen a lot more and understand a good bit more. Yet, now that I am going to be on my own, I am really nervous. I've not hit anything, nor have I got any violations so far, but I am very afraid that something could go wrong and I could just blow it. If it wasn't for fear of the random drug tests I'd be tempted to take some tranquilizer. As the time approaches (I got a few days off after training) for me to start as a solo, I am feeling less and less confident and more and more apprehensive. Will I be able to back into those narrow spaces? Or will I block the traffic for half an hour getting out to look a hundred times, and still mess it up? A few days ago I thought I had done well, but now I'm not so sure any more. It's really nerve wrecking to think about.

Posted:  2 months, 4 weeks ago

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Mentor for SWIFT don't grow on trees

Sounds like things were going well up until this setback. How did you end up falling down? Was it lack of 3 points of contact? Once back in a truck make sure you follow what the current trainer says. You will find they do things different than your previous trainer. Some things will be better or worse but just follow what they say (as long as its legal) and once you're on your own you can find out a way that works best for you to handle tasks.

How did I end up falling?

Well, the truthful answer has to be that I was a clumsy fool. I did practice the three point contact safety rule as well as used the regulation footwear, so the only explanation can be that at the end of the day I must have got sloppy while climbing down from the driver's seat.

Different trainer -- different styles:

That is very wise advice. Thank you for reinforcing that fundamental. I will remember and do exactly that. The way I see it is that this is a positive because I will get a new perspective on the same things and that will give me a broader understanding. So this injury might end up being a blessing in disguise even though I was feeling a bit sorry for having lost a great training mentor, not to mention losing time and potential income. I'm sure the new mentor will also be just as good.

Amazingly, only three days after getting doctor's clearance I was re-assigned to a new mentor. I have already spoken to him. He sounds like a good guy because he was concerned that they have given him a load which takes him even further away from the home terminal (where we are supposed to meet up). I said that I shall just wait patiently until he heads back, but he said that he shall call the terminal to try and urge them to get him back this way. His concern was for me not getting paid while waiting around. That told me that he has empathy for his prospective student's need. It told me that he cares, so I already get a good feeling that it will work out nicely.

Posted:  3 months ago

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Mentor for SWIFT don't grow on trees

It's been exciting, challenging and tiring. I've developed a new and deeper respect for all you million-milers out there... wow, how did you do it?

I couldn't get the time, nor had the energy to go online and read or post anything. Now I'm at home again so here are some observations.

I was fortunate to get a million-mile driver-mentor with 21 years of OTR trucking under his belt. Real nice guy and very knowledgeable. Occasionally short tempered and harsh, but I didn't mind since he was correcting me. The only problem was his think accept (Latino) which I often misunderstood, adding to his aggravation. But my ears got sharper and it got better. He was a task master and we were on the go, go, go ... One day I did 10 hours and 58 minutes of driving just getting to the terminal in the nick of time. Backing, turning, coupling, uncoupling, tandem adjustment, etc., he was giving me all the opportunities and I was taking it in like a sponge and realizing how much more I needed to learn. One day we got caught in a severe rain storm with high winds on a mountain road in Tennessee (it was an interstate highway fortunately), and it really made me nervous. I asked my mentor if I should pull over... shrugging his shoulders, his response was, "you are the driver."

I was lucky to get a good trainer and hope this continues after I get back on the road. I'm presently off the truck. I had a stupid accident. I fell down on concrete towards the very end of a long day and injured my wrist so I've been taken off the truck until the doctor gives me an all clear. It's been four days now and I am really anxious to get back to finish my training. Everything was going so well until this... I am so ****ed off at myself for being clumsy. The worst of it is that I heard from my mentor today that they have assigned him another student. That means when I get full medical clearance (hopefully no later than next week) I'll have to get back in the long line and wait until I get re-assigned. Once again, it's "hurry up and wait."

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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What would you do?

When the top of the corporate hierarchy and the top of the state hierarchy have a revolving door between them and they freely merge and overlap, it is called FASCISM.

In such a system one cannot blame the police for just fulfilling their primary job. The prime function of the police is to preserve the status quo and thereby protect the power and privilege of the ruling class. They are the guard dogs of the ruling class, so the rulers will never mussel their own guard dogs. Therefore, it is not going to be easy to convince the rulers to institute real reforms because that will mean them giving up their power and privilege. No freedom is ever granted willingly, it has to be 'earned' ... or fought for.

For a thought provoking perspective check out:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielaraya/2020/03/31/the-revolution-after-the-crisis/#4c711482101e

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

What would you do?

Liahos, though I don't disagree with what you're saying, I think it's more or less a bunch of technicalities that muddy the water. The point I'm trying to make is very simple - the people in charge have abused their power. They have ignored the Constitution, overreached with their power, and stomped on our rights and freedoms. We need to let them know it won't be tolerated.

I don't care who is in charge, as long as they understand that we must be allowed to make our own decisions. It is not their place to issue orders that lock us in our homes, shut down our businesses, and prevent us from visiting our own mothers.

There's a very good reason that lawmaking is a complex process. If you let a small group of people decide unilaterally that they can pass any law they please at any time for "the good of the people" without the people's consent, you have a dictatorship which inevitably leads to authoritarianism and tyranny, as we've seen.

Fortunately, we've also seen that in the Western World that sort of abuse of power will lead to an explosion of activism. I'm confident the violence will stop soon enough, but I'm very confident that there will continue to be waves of civil rights activism for years to come, leading to sweeping changes to our government and big businesses in the coming years.

I'm incredibly thankful that the people responded the way they have and filled the streets all over the world. Even with the government and big business controlling the entire message, including big media and censoring social media platforms, you can only hold people down for so long before they erupt.

Tons of people predicted this would happen. I'm thankful it did. We need to make sure the people running the show know where the boundary is. They tested it hard and the powder keg blew. This will be a lesson for the ages.

Sorry, THIS is the post I meant to respond to ... instead I mistakenly quoted my own earlier post.

Brett, I agree with you 99.9% ... (the only reason I can't say 100% is because my math professor taught us during the chapter on LIMITS that LIMITS can be 'approached continuously', but never reached. Lol)

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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What would you do?

double-quotes-start.png

The People United Against Tyranny

Please take a step back and understand the big picture. Then, let's continue this fight together.

Today's protests aren't just about racism. It's far more than that.

This is THE PEOPLE unified as one against tyranny.

Let's keep it peaceful, but be loud and be bold. We must be heard. Let's stay united. Let's make sure this never happens again.

double-quotes-end.png

I totally agree with Brett's above quoted comments. There is only one addition that is needed to what you say. You limit your anti tyranny message against "government" ... But that is slightly inaccurate because it is incomplete, and I'll explain why further down.

What is 'our government'? This is an absolutely crucial question. Let's see!

They will claim that it is 'government of the people, by the people, for the people' ... which sounds very nice, but today that is a not the case. If it were really true then all that you said above would not have been necessary. I'll get to it in a minute, but first a few words about a fundamental structural design flaw.

Well, our's not a democracy by design. The US was never meant to be a DEMOcracy. It was designed as a DEMO-GEO-cracy. Land has more political power than individuals. Example: North and South Dakotas plus Wyoming and Montana have about 3 million people but 8 senators and 12 electoral college votes. California, on the other hand, has over 40 million people, has only 2 senators and 55 electoral college votes. So what is the per capita political power of a citizen living in California vs. one living in the four northwestern states mentioned above? You do the math.

Unfortunately, it has gotten even worse than that. We don't have a democracy that works on the principle of one-man, one-vote ... instead it's one-dollar, one-vote. As if that demo-geo-cracy design was not screwed up enough, what it has evolved into is 'government OF the big corporations, BY the big corporations, FOR the big corporations.' And THAT my friends is the problem. Not the abstract concept of government per se, but what government has become.

In theory at least, a truly representative government would have to be responsive to the interests of the majority. The principle would be, "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" ... And the people's representatives, if they truly represented the people, would watch out for the interests of the millions of people and not the interests of a few corporations. But when real power goes into the hands of the big corporations, and the so-called people's representatives become corporate pimps, as it is the case in today's America, then the people at large have no recourse even in theory.

Brett, I agree with you 99.9% ... (the only reason I can't say 100% is because my math professor taught us during the chapter on LIMITS that LIMITS can be 'approached continuously', but never reached. Lol)

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

What would you do?

The People United Against Tyranny

Please take a step back and understand the big picture. Then, let's continue this fight together.

Today's protests aren't just about racism. It's far more than that.

This is THE PEOPLE unified as one against tyranny.

Let's keep it peaceful, but be loud and be bold. We must be heard. Let's stay united. Let's make sure this never happens again.

I totally agree with Brett's above quoted comments. There is only one addition that is needed to what you say. You limit your anti tyranny message against "government" ... But that is slightly inaccurate because it is incomplete, and I'll explain why further down.

What is 'our government'? This is an absolutely crucial question. Let's see!

They will claim that it is 'government of the people, by the people, for the people' ... which sounds very nice, but today that is a not the case. If it were really true then all that you said above would not have been necessary. I'll get to it in a minute, but first a few words about a fundamental structural design flaw.

Well, our's not a democracy by design. The US was never meant to be a DEMOcracy. It was designed as a DEMO-GEO-cracy. Land has more political power than individuals. Example: North and South Dakotas plus Wyoming and Montana have about 3 million people but 8 senators and 12 electoral college votes. California, on the other hand, has over 40 million people, has only 2 senators and 55 electoral college votes. So what is the per capita political power of a citizen living in California vs. one living in the four northwestern states mentioned above? You do the math.

Unfortunately, it has gotten even worse than that. We don't have a democracy that works on the principle of one-man, one-vote ... instead it's one-dollar, one-vote. As if that demo-geo-cracy design was not screwed up enough, what it has evolved into is 'government OF the big corporations, BY the big corporations, FOR the big corporations.' And THAT my friends is the problem. Not the abstract concept of government per se, but what government has become.

In theory at least, a truly representative government would have to be responsive to the interests of the majority. The principle would be, "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" ... And the people's representatives, if they truly represented the people, would watch out for the interests of the millions of people and not the interests of a few corporations. But when real power goes into the hands of the big corporations, and the so-called people's representatives become corporate pimps, as it is the case in today's America, then the people at large have no recourse even in theory.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

What would you do?

Frankly speaking I do not know what I would really do. Having never been in a situation like this I can only speculate what I would do based on my rational thinking, sitting here, safely watching it all on video. But it is not the same as suddenly being faced with a totally new experience like this. What will be my reaction??? No person can really predict that. We can only present to ourselves that we know what we would do, but if we were there ourselves, there is no telling how we would have reacted. We can surprise ourselves when faced with unprecedented situations that leave us no reaction time.

All of this is extremely sad at all levels. Violence always begets more violence. These violent protests in reaction to the unnecessary police killing of an unarmed man is just as immoral and unjustified as was the killing of hundreds of thousands of children by the wholesale bombing of Middle Eastern countries in response to 9/11 ...

As a society, we must pause and consider the meaning and implication of this one fact:

Since 9/11 until today, more US citizens have been killed by law enforcement INSIDE America, than the number of US citizens getting killed in ALL terrorist attacks (including 9/11) all over the world, PLUS, all battlefield and other war zone fatal casualties COMBINED.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Swift Drug Test

I just started with SWIFT ... Orientation was three weeks ago and YES, they did take a whole bunch of my hair, in addition to urine, for drug testing. As Old School said, DO NOT HIDE your legal prescription drugs. Make sure you have doctor's orders properly documented. That way, you are not to be blamed. But there is a possibility that if you are on some prescription that marks you as a high risk for safety (e.g., epilepsy medication) you are considered ineligible for driving an 80,000 lbs vehicle on the road.

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Legal Insurance Advice wanted

Legal Insurance Advice wanted

One of the things we got at orientation was this 'optional' legal services enrollment form. Basically iy says that for $7.61 a week the driver can buy legal insurance against things that could go wrong for which you will need a lawyer. Then it lists a whole bunch of things that can go wrong and how much each of those would cost to hire a lawyer for if you don't have the insurance. Example, if you get a ticket for following too close, the lawyer's fee could be up to $1200 but with this insurance you'll have a free lawyer.

Frankly, I am very skeptical. It sounds like a marketing ploy. I dislike the insurance industry, as their business is selling fear. I am one of those who never ever buys extended warranties even. Besides, most insurance is a money grabbing scam anyway, because they always try and weasel out of paying claims. Yet, I thought, it can't hurt to hurl this question before the wise and experienced brothers and sisters on this forum.

Is getting such a 'service' advisable?

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Mentor for SWIFT don't grow on trees

Well, just to post an update here. I think the wait may be coming close to an end. Today I got a call from the DQ that I've been matched with a trainer ("mentor") ... I called and spoke to him. He was presently in northern Pennsylvania waiting for a load. He confirmed that loads were slow these days so you had to go where they sent you, unlike last year when you could have multiple loads to chose from. He's been an OTR driver for 21 years, was a company driver for this mega-carrier and is presently an O/O working under their umbrella. He lives an hour down the road from me so that will be convenient for home time. He said he wasn't sure where he'll get a load for but that he is taking a week's vacation from June 12th. If possible he'll take me on before then, but that all depends on if the dispatch can arrange for it and have him back by the 12th. Else, I'll have to wait until after his vacation. He sounded like a nice fellow. I don't know if I'll have to wait this extra time until after his vacation or if they can get me on his truck for ten or twelve days prior?

Posted:  3 months, 3 weeks ago

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MEDICAL CARD ISSUE...what to do??

(I could kick myself).....Dr issued me a 3 month card and advised the sleep apnea study. Ive always been "plump" but healthy and this is my first time ever dealing with a Dr trying to label me as "unhealthy." Plus the cost of the sleep apnea study is very expensive.

What should I do? (Thanks in advance)

The full sleep study in the sleep lab is not necessary. There is also a "home sleep study" that is self-administered ... the doctor's office (some doctors, not all) issues you the device to take home and you wear it over your head and it records your brain waves and monitors your end-expiration Oxygen and CO2 levels. It is much cheaper to get that done. Google it and find out where in your area you could get it done for a fraction of the cost. Most insurance companies, as far as I know, cover it. One of the companies that manufactores those portable devices is called Watermark...

https://join.sleepgroupsolutions.com/dental-ce-products/sleepmed-ares/

Hope it helps.

Posted:  4 months ago

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Mentor for SWIFT don't grow on trees

Susan, Big T, 40-days

Thank you all for giving your views.

Susan, your frank honesty about non smokers has given me an insight into a smoker's point of view. You are very emphatic about not accepting non-smokers ("no exceptions"). I have many friends who are regular smokers and before developing adult onset asthma, I used to occasionally take a drag or two while in their company. Hell, if I had good lungs I might even have taken up smoking, so I really think I could have been fine with a smoker. But there seem not to be that choice any more by the way you've described the process.

Big T, thank you for pointing out that this mentor shortage is system wide and not specific to the Atlanta Terminal. I've been disabused of the silly notion about going elsewhere. I was getting bored in the hotel room so they gave me the green light to go home and that they will call and let me know next week. Going back home is a lot better than being stuck at the hotel, but I hope the wait is not too long because I am not only eager to learn the profession, it would also be nice to start having an income.

40-days, thanks for mentioning the things I'm taking for granted (shower and en suite toilet) which will be missed on the road.

I'm going home tomorrow (unless, per chance, a mentor drops down from the sky) and get some R & R before the 200 hours of behind-the-wheel TNT driving begins.

Posted:  4 months ago

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Mentor for SWIFT don't grow on trees

Waiting to be matched to a mentor, I'm hold up in a hotel near the terminal after finishing orientation and getting hired ... It's 'hurry up and wait' for now. I didn't restrict my options to be matched up either on the basis of gender or smoking -- though I put in a polite request that "if possible" I'd prefer a non-smoker. Yet, no mentors as of today. We were told that the virus fears have shrunk the supply of mentors. Some in my batch got first dibs on available mentors, I wasn't so lucky.

So here is my question: Is there a way to facilitate finding a mentor? Could I volunteer to go to another terminal in the country where maybe it's easier to find a mentor? How does this work. Is four days not a long enough delay and that I should just be patient and stay put?

Posted:  4 months, 1 week ago

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Starting a trucking career at 63... and during this pandemic...

Welcome DD ... you are not alone bro ... I am almost 67 and I've just started myself ... talk of being crazy, that's what a lot of my friends have labelled me but no matter ... "YOU HAVE LOST YOUR MIND" my best friend said to me when I told him my plans.

I just began with SWIFT as a trainee OTR ... I have no clue about anything so can't really give you any advice about trucking ... but have seen a lot in life, extensive international travel and work experience. I have a health science background and have never done anything like this before. But all I have right now is courage and hope, plus a determination to do my best. Will it work? Time will tell, but I'll give it what I can... so if you are determined, listen to no one, just do it.

Remember the old saying, "If you never lost your mind, it means you've never followed your heart."

Good luck and godspeed.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Werner Hair Follicle Testing. What panel does it use?

I am pretty sure the 5 panel DOT urine test doesn't include Benzos. However the hair follicle test which is not the DOT required test may actually include more. So to be on the safe side if you did not have a prescription to take the medication then I would wait a minimum of 6 months to a year before I even risked it. There is no sense in ruining your entire career before you even start it. Just my opinion. Best of luck.

Most common drug testing looks for both prescription and street drugs. Common drugs tested are:

1) Stimulents (amphetamines, cocaine, Ritalin etc),

2) Depressants (opiates, barbiturates and benzodiazepines) and,

3) psychedelics (THC and PCP) ...

Not all drugs in each group are checked for. They look for common biochemical metabolites that are produced in the body by the break-down of the drugs. All benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Klonopin family), for example, follow a common bio-degradation pathway that produces some 5 common byproducts. Those by-products show up in the urine. Same is the case with Opiates.

As far as psilocybin (psychoactive chemical in magic mushroom) and Lysergic Acid (LSD) are concerned, to my knowledge, they are currently not tested in the routine drug test panels. Their detection requires specialized testing.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Emergency pain pills and trucking

A one-time therapeutic administration of morphine in a hospital emergency room, with proper documentation, should not pose any problem. On blood or urine analysis opiates are not detectable after a few days past a single dose. The hair, however, are a different story. Once an opiate metabolite gets incorporated into the hair structure, it remains there. Studies have only been conducted for up to 90 days past last date of use and the traces are still there. It is logical to assume that since the hair does not excrete or undergoes any metabolism, those traces will remain. The hair will eventually grow out in length and the location of trace marker of the drug will grow far enough away from the root that it can be removed with a haircut.

Following factors will influence the hair test result:

Frequency and intensity of use/abuse. A habitual junkie and a one-time hospital patient should show very different results. The heavier the abuse the more traces will be present in the hair sample.

Technique, methodology and quality of the testing, both in hair sample preparation and the analysis method used, can vary greatly. A thorough forensic test by the FBI lab could find much tinier traces than a cheap commercial lab test. Test sensitivity can vary from detecting 0.1 to 10 nanograms/ml (average lab 2 - 2.5 ng/ml) ...

I've been in an ER with a kidney stone, and let me just say that it is critical to have strong pain relief. Your friend's wife was dead wrong in her request to deny him that, and I'm glad the doc didn't listen to her. This incident should not be a problem if he is upfront about it.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Paid CDL - Automatic or manual transmissions.

Our school trained us on 10-speeds ... I'd driven manual shift cars all my life, but boy, was it a shock. Big rig manual transmissions are a different animal. I never knew there was such a thing as "synchronized" manual transmission vs. "unsynchronized" manual transmission. It was a rude awakening. Unlike private cars, the manual shifting of big rigs requires that you have to do the synchronization yourself, the transmission won't do it for you. In practical terms it means that in order to up-shift, say, from 4th to 5th, or for that matter, to down-shift, say, from 6th to 5th, etc, you have to match the speed and RMP which is appropriate to each gear combination. It took me the first three weeks to get it down. At test time they gave us the option to test on manual or auto. I opted for manual because I thought I had it down pat. Unfortunately, riding with the DOT examiner I had one or two gear grinds too many (which I had not had for almost the whole previous week in training) and I failed the road test. A second chance test was school policy, but I was too nervous to repeat test on manual, so I ended up with an automatic restriction. I went and got a new learner permit (in addition to my CDL with auto restriction) so that I can get more practice and take another road test on a manual to get the restriction removed. I really don't want to have the auto-restriction. In the mean time, the job I'm starting in ten days has an all automatic fleet. So for now the point has become moot for me, but I intend to get the restriction removed.

Posted:  4 months, 2 weeks ago

View Topic:

New here, have questions

Liahos I'd pick Swift. They are the largest truckload carrier in the country and will have more opportunities than the others. Depending on where you live you may be able to get on a dedicated account where you're home more frequently. You may even be able to be home daily after you get some experience. Also its possible to switch divisions. ... Ignore all the trash you read about Swift, you will find the same garbage written about all the major carriers.

Super ... I was having similar thoughts but wasn't certain. Coming from one who has been there, done that, it gives me confidence. I have confirmed with them and my orientation begins on the 18th (ten days from today) in Decator, GA. Thank you for the sage advice. It makes perfect sense.

Posted:  4 months, 3 weeks ago

View Topic:

New here, have questions

Hi Rick,

Sorry I do not have any wisdom to impart, but you've come to the right place, these guys are the genuine articles ... they know this stuff. I am going to be an opportunist and get a piggy-back ride on your inquiry.

ADDITIONAL ADVICE requested from the experienced folks:

After being put on hold by Schneider, I frantically applied to several carriers and have to-date got three green lights. SWIFT (dry van OTR). Kennesaw (Reefer OTR) and Wiley Sanders (dry van OTR) ... I'm tending towards SWIFT ... Any words of advice /caution or reconsideration. I have about 10 12 days at most.

Thanx.

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